The Buffalo Bills just went through losing a few key players due to the Reserve/COVID-19 list.
The Bills (7-4) will hope they’re in the clear on that front as defensive tackle Star Lotulelei and rookie offensive lineman Spencer Brown have recently returned from the designation.
But now it’s potentially just starting for the New England Patriots (8-4) ahead of their next game… which so happens to be in Buffalo.
According to the NFL transactions wire, starting safety Kyle Dugger was placed on the Patriots’ Reserve/ COVID-19 list on Wednesday. Now his status for Monday’s Bills-Pats matchup is in question.
Dugger is the second Patriots player to end up on the designation. Backup running back JJ Taylor went there on Monday.
Like with Lotulelei and Brown, it all now depends on Dugger’s vaccination status.
If Dugger is vaccinated against COVID-19, he could come off the list before game day. Vaccinated players with no symptoms need two negative tests for the virus 24 hours apart in order to return to their team, per NFL rules.
Even if vaxxed, that’s a not a lot of time.
But if Dugger is not, he’s out 10 days. No in between… and no game in Buffalo.
The 25-year-old is a bit of a do-it-all defender for the Patriots. Pro Football Focus ranks him as the NFL’s 27th best safety currently, but he’s good.
Dugger leads New England with 80 tackles and has three interceptions. In 12 games, he has played in 81 percent of the Patriots’ snaps on defense.
Best wishes on a healthy return, but if Dugger misses the Bills meeting, it’s a big win for Buffalo.